Long Marine Lab's annual Whale of an Auction set for Friday, June 23

The Friends of Long Marine Lab will hold the 21st annual "Whale of an Auction," the group's popular annual fundraiser, on Friday, June 23. The event will take place at Porter College on the UC Santa Cruz campus, starting at 6 p.m.

A social and gastronomic occasion as well as an auction, the evening includes a catered buffet, fine wines, champagne, music, and lots of excitement. The event, which includes both live and silent auctions, raises funds to support Long Marine Lab's Seymour Center and its public education programs. Tickets for the evening are $75 at the door. For additional information, call (831) 459-3800.

Items up for bid at this year's auction include one-of-a-kind field trips with renowned scientists, vacations in exotic places, art glass, exclusive dinners, wines, and much more. Among the excursions offered this year are a photography and biology outing for four with Frans Lanting and Christine Eckstrom; a geology and history tour with geologist Gary Griggs and historian Sandy Lydon; a wild-foods foraging dinner; scientist-led behind-the-scenes and after-hours trips to Año Nuevo, Elkhorn Slough, and on research vessels on Monterey Bay; and private dinners by chefs Emile Mooser, Robert Morris, and Jozseph Schultz. The auction will also offer exclusive getaways in St. Bart's, Paris, Cabo San Lucas, and San Diego, and an abundance of unique ways to enjoy the culture and beauty of Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay.

All education programs and daily operations of the Seymour Marine Discovery Center depend on community support. Donations to the "Whale of an Auction" help bring marine science alive for everyone.

The Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab is dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world's oceans. Located at the end of Delaware Ave. in Santa Cruz, the Seymour Center is open to the public every day except Mondays.